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ENG1100 College Writing: Web Site Evaluation

English, introductory research, citing sources

Web Site Evaluation

While it may seem easier to do a web search for information rather than use a library database, you need to critically evaluate web sites. While there are numerous web pages that describe how to evaluate a web site, in additiona to the C.R.A.A.P Test, here are a few other websites that you may find useful:  

Evaluation Criteria: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly:or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources

http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/evalcrit.html

Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html

Website Evaluation Wizard

http://21cif.com/tools/evaluate/

Five criteria for evaluating Web pages (Cornell University)

http://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/ref/research/webcrit.html

 

Applying the CRAAP Test

Finding accurate, reliable sources of information on the Internet can be a challenge.  As a rule of thumb, some of the best information on the web comes from government agencies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations.  However, all sources should be carefully evaluated before you use them.  An easy way to remember how to evaluate information is to apply the C.R.A.A.P Test.

Currency

When was the information published or posted?

Has the information been revised or updated?

Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?

Are the links functional?

Relevance

Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?

Who is the intended audience?

Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?

Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?

Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority

Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?

What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?

What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?

Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?

Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

 For example: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (government), .org (nonprofit organization)?

Accuracy

Where does the information come from?

Is the information supported by evidence?

Has the information been reviewed or refereed?

Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?

Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose

What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?

Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?

Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?

Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?

Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

 

Thanks to the librarians at California State University, Chico for developing the CRAAP test.

Evaluating Sources

Regardess of where information comes from, it is always a good idea to evaluate your sources. This will help you select the best sources of informatioin for research and anytime that you are seeking information.

 

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